$2.9 million to help boost access to clinical trials

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Summary media release information

29 March 2012
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Minister Plibersek's office on 02 6277 7220

Minister for Health

Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

Patients suffering chronic diseases will benefit from $2.9 million in funding to increase access to clinical trials of new drugs, treatments and medical procedures.

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, today said that the funding will support the administration of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre and the expansion of the centre’s Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR).

“Clinical trials give tens of thousands of patients access to new and innovative treatments and play a vital part in the fight against disease,” said Ms Plibersek.

“There are many stories about recovery, improved quality of life or longer life from participating in a clinical trial conducted in Australia and this funding will make it easier for patients to find out about and access clinical trials.

“It is important that all Australians who could benefit from a trial are able to find out what is available and here, at the University of Sydney, is playing an important role in boosting participation and making trial information more accessible.

“The Government is making it easier for patients to access researchers so that Australian trials have high participation rates and the benefits flow onto the community.

“The expanded registry will help people in remote and regional locations have access to the latest information making it easier for them to enrol. The registry is also reducing duplication of trials by encouraging research collaboration,” said Ms Plibersek.

"Tens of thousands of patients have already benefitted from participating in this worldclass clinical trials research," Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans said.

"The Gillard Government's investment will help ANZCTR continue to use their research across the field of medicine to improve the lives of patients through improved health and quality of life."

The NHMRC has been a supporter of the ANZ Clinical Trials Registry since 2006, providing in total $3.6 million to the end of 2011. In this funding round, the NHMRC is funding $2.095 million over five years while the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education is funding $770,000.

Over the past 23 years, 60,000 Australasian patients have been recruited by the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre for clinical trials on cardiovascular disease, cancer and neonatal disorders.

For more information visit www.ctc.usyd.edu.au

Photos from the event

Left to right: Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek, John Newsom and Sally Crossing.

Minister Plibersek speaks at ANZCTR funding announcement.

NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson, Associate Professor Lisa Askie, John Stubbs, Professor John Simes, Minister Plibersek, Dr Michael Spence.